I may have said it once or twice: Food over here is expensive and we underestimated the costs. For several months. You just can’t spend so much money on food, can you?! So we tried and tried to keep the Budget down. May have added $100. Still struggling. And Ben & Jerry’s is only $3, how can that be?
About buying food in Germany: We mainly bought organic, especially meat and milk products as well as basically everything the little one was eating. Estimated about same amount of veggies and sweets. Actually probably same amount of fruit and sweets, plus some veggies for cooking. One warm meal every day. Sausages as a snack or grapes and cheese or tomato mozzarella salad ( the good, Italian squishy mozzarella, not the weird grated one), you get the idea. Lots and lots of chocolate, some gummibears. Frozen fruits for smoothies. The meal of the day was mainly pasta or rice, most likely as a casserole. Nothing fancy or extensive. Drinks were soda once in a while, mainly tap water. The lil one had her milk in the evening. And rice crackers as her favorite snack. Ok, that’s enough for an overview. Big trip was at a less expensive store (Ghetto-Netto), specials at something similar to Publix.
Though you have to say: I’m damaged goods. I studied this topic. Everything from additives to antibiotics in meat and arsenic, hormones and bacteria. I wrote my frickin masters thesis about the differences between the European and American food system. I’M really not someone who heads over to McDonalds for his 10pc Chicken McNuggets for $1,32. Though I’m neither the one who only buys at Trader Joes and Wholefoods. And I lowered my requirements even more those last months. Fixing your head to organic salad won’t bring you far when that’s the only thing is you can buy.
Our cart was filled with less and less organic products, the organic buying club was cancelled and we went from bread to toast. Though we still don’t buy much processed food and no ready-to-eat meals. No Cheese-Dips, no Hambugers Helper or Men’s Diner. And I still only buy animal products that do not contain added hormones or antibiotics (Hello arsenic additives!). We lowered our expectations. We buy at Walmart, extras at Publix, like ground beef. But what about the numbers?
We spend about $150 to $200 a week on grocery products, including household products (including this wicked expensive toilet paper for septic tanks. $3 for 4 rolls…). Not included is other stuff we buy at Walmart, like internet and phone cards. If we control our spending. If not, we end up buying all the awesome stuff (Grapes! Cherries! Babybel! Organic Ice Cream!) and the spendings are accordingly. But why is grocery shopping so expensive?
Mainly it’s animal products. Milk, cheese, meat, fish, yoghurt, you name it. And chocolate! Half a pound M&Ms (let’s be real about this, it’s the only American chocolate you can actually eat and enjoy) is $4. Half a gallon milk is $4-$5. Half a pound grated cheese is $5-$6. A small cup of yoghurt is $1, a big one $6. One 5-pack of Babybel is $5. One pound ground meat it 9. A dozen eggs $6. You probably know the prices. Compared on what you can buy with the same amount of money:
You see, there are plenty of healthy alternatives.
Well, we try to eat healthy and step back on other expenses. And I try to forget everything I learned.
Disclaimer: We are lazy. We could probably split our weekly to 5 stores and spend less. We could enter the world of couponing. We could look for inexpensive meals that are outside of our comfort zone. When we are back on the road, we will have more possibilities: Aldi, maybe Costco. Everything is a constant development.